WWII-era rocket found in unincorporated Antioch backyard safely detonated

Waukegan bomb squad detonated device at another location

Eric Horng Image
Friday, June 16, 2023
WWII-era rocket found in suburban backyard safely detonated
A possible WWII-era rocket was found on West 3rd Street in unincorporated Antioch; some were evacuated, the Lake County Sheriff's Office says.

LAKE COUNTY, Ill. (WLS) -- Some residents in unincorporated north suburban Antioch were evacuated after a World War II-era anti-tank rocket was discovered Thursday morning, the Lake County Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies responded late Thursday morning to the 25000-block of West Third Street for a report of a suspicious item, the sheriff's office said.

A homeowner doing yardwork found something with sharp edges sticking out of the ground Wednesday afternoon, police said.

"Watching my boys play, and I'm just looking at the ground, making sure that there's nothing to, nobody's going to step on anything," Lauren Intzekiotis said.

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As the homeowner dug it out, the item resembled a WWII-era rocket.

"I was just playing with my boys, and I saw this weird metal thing sticking out of the ground, grabbed my shovel and started digging it up and pulled it out of the ground with ease and took some photos of it and showed my neighbor, showed my dad, and my dad's like 'hey, you should call the police and figure out what's going on with that,'" Intzekiotis said.

Intzekiotis said the device was next to her children's swing set. She called authorities Thursday morning.

It was not immediately clear how long the object had been buried, police said.

Intzekiotis said the homes were built around the 1960s, and, before that much of the area would've been farmland.

The Waukegan Bomb Squad was on the scene, and some residents in the immediate area were evacuated as a precaution.

Just after 2 p.m., the bomb squad secured the item, and homeowners were allowed to return to their homes.

The bomb squad took the item to an undisclosed location and detonated it, police said.

No one was injured in the incident.

"We've got golf carts and little kids just walking and bikes that go right over it, so it's amazing it didn't happen before, just thankful," Intzekiotis said.